Anger over £5k awards bash

The launch of the STAR awards
The launch of the STAR awards

Angry local people have criticised the council’s decision to spend over £5,000 on an awards ceremony for staff.

Thomas McFadden, of Milton of Campsie, says that while he approves of East Dunbartonshire Council staff being rewarded for their hard work, he doesn’t think that an awards ceremony is the best way to do it.

He says they should be paid more money instead.

Mr McFadden said: “I’m all for staff being rewarded for their work but I’m sure they’d rather get a bonus.

“When there’s such a lack of funds across East Dunbartonshire you have to ask is this the best way to be spending thousands of pounds?

“The employees don’t really benefit from an awards ceremony.

“It’s just a good old jolly for the management and a way for the council chiefs to blow their own trumpets.”

Lots of readers also commented on our Facebook page.

Andy Nicolson said: “I’m sure they would prefer it to go towards a pay rise.”

Samantha Arthur said: “Disgusting to think that kind of money is being spent on an awards ceremony when so many things in the community are crying out for improvement and money to be spent on them which we are constantly told that EDC haven’t got. They should be ashamed.”

East Dunbartonshire STARS celebration cost £5,720.

This is broken down into printing costs of £170 for leaflets and certificates, a ceremony at St Ninian’s High School - catering £1500, tables, chair hire and decorations £700.

Individual recipients receive £100 to be spent locally in East Dunbartonshire and teams get £100 per team member up to a maximum of £1,000. The total for the awards this year was estimated to be between £700 to £2,300.

Ann Davie, depute chief executive for education, people & business, said: “Our employees are our greatest asset and it is absolutely right that we recognise their efforts through our STARS Awards.

“We know how hard our employees work and in challenging times when £50 million has been cut from our budget in recent years, we feel the modest sum to host a celebration of thanks and reward our winners is worthwhile.

“Our winners must spend their award locally to support the local economy and colleagues in the council and our local population have the opportunity to nominate.”